Au Pair

Prepare yourself for your departure as an au pair

Laurie · 01/03/2022

Are you planning to be an au pair very soon? This article will give you the keys to organize yourself in order to find your host family quickly.

Before to give you advice about how to create a good profile in order to find your perfect au pair family and go abroad, it's important to remind you the conditions to be an au pair

The requirements to become an au pair

Not everybody can become an au pair. The au pair program ask au pairs to fulfil all the mandatory conditions. They can be different requirements according to the relevant host country. The basics ones to be an au pair in France are:

  • You must be between 18 and 30.
  • You need to speak French and / or English.
  • You must have a high school degree or the equivalent.
  • You must have an eligible nationality to the au pair program in France.
  • You need to have a significant experience with children.

âš  According to our au pair agency experience, applying after you 29th birthday to be an au pair, is more difficult.It gives you a short time frame to find a family, gather the paperwork, and time to get your visa if you are a non-European citizen. Find out more on our website!

If you meet all the requirements 👇 Become an au pair


How to create a good profile?

Some things seem to be obvious but just in case, I prefer to remind you some important details. It's essential to fully complete your profile thoroughly and the questionnaire as well. That reassures your potential future family that you are a reliable candidate and that you are the one she needs!

Your profile picture

A qualitative profile, it's a profile with many photos of you, why not with children, during your sports activities, etc. The main photo and the first one that families will see before they click on your profile, so be natural! Avoid Snapchat or Instagram filters, which give the opposite effect of seriousness.

If you are not comfortable choosing a photo without a filter, ask your friends and family for help to find out which photo brings out your personality, the real you, who you are.

Your experiences with children

One of our criteria for being an au pair is to have at least one significant experience with children, in other words, an experience that shows your ability to care for them. We ask you to provide us with letters of recommendation from parents you have babysat for, from your boss when you were a camp counsellor, etc. The more letters of recommendation you have, the better.

This will be an excellent asset on your profile, especially as it will reassure families who are looking for an au pair. Don't hesitate to give a lot of details on your profile about your experiences.

âš  Experiences with children in your family (brothers, sisters, cousins, etc.) are not indicative of your skills with children. 

Your language skills

The minimum language level required in France depends on the host family criteria. That would avoid you to have some communication problems during your stay.

However, it's understandable your aim is to learn or improve a foreign language, but you have to make sure that you and your family understand each other. It is also important that the children understand you too. Some host families speak English and all of them speaks French, so they will ask you to speak at least a minimum of English and / or French. We recommend a minimum level of A2 in English or French. This means that you should:

  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, work, etc.).
  • Be able to communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms your background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Find out what the language levels correspond to.

Butrfly offers you to register for online French classes thanks to our partner VivaLing. You have access to 1h20 of lessons, 4 times a week for 3 weeks, for 10 euros per hour 👇 Register for French courses

Write a recent and relevant CV

On your profile, you need to write a good CV. To do this, put yourself in the shoes of your host family. What do you want to see on your future au pair's profile/CV? You should put yourself forward as much as possible. Important things to write on your profile:

  • Put all your experiences with children, whether it's babysitting at your neighbour's house, your internship in a nursery, anything related to children, write it down. It's not a problem if you couldn't write that you have passed your high school degree because we already know it, it's a requirement to register on our website.
  • If you have passed a language exam recently (diplôme initial de langue française, test de connaissance du français, Cambridge Certificate, TOEFL, etc.) which shows a good level of language, this is the time to put it in your skills. Don't hesitate to add your experiences abroad that prove your ability to adapt to different environments, show a certain maturity, etc.

âš  The profile should be written in French and / or English. You can write it in French to show your motivation or your level of French, it can only be beneficial for your application.

The driving licence

It is important to know that a driving licence is not mandatory to become an au pair. If your host family lives in a big city with good public transport links, you do not need to drive. However, many families are looking for an au pair with a driving licence so that they can drive the children to school, to their extracurricular activities or elsewhere.

If you have a driving licence, this is an advantage that you should emphasise in your profile, but also when completing your au pair profile. Find more information in our article "Do I need a driving licence as an au pair?".

âš  Depending on families, they may prefer you to drive with an "A" (for "apprenti", which young drivers have to put on the bodywork at the back of the car) and / or to drive a few hours with them or a professional.


How to get ready for France?

Did you find a family? Did you sign your contract and do all the administrative part (Visa, insurance, etc.)? Well now you need to think about your trip. As soon as possible, book your flight so that you don't have to pay too much.

The luggage

You tend to do overpack your luggage when you travel for more than 2 weeks. But keep in your mind you will stay enough long to go for shopping and buy new stuff whatever cloths, shoes, bag, etc.

Make a list of the things you will take with you. Don't hesitate to ask your family if they can lend you towels, a hairdryer, etc. Essentials to take with you:

  • Passport + Visa + (International) driving licence
  • Important contact details and telephone numbers
  • Some cash (in case you could need it at your arrival)
  • Sufficient medication, enough for your entire stay (if you need it)
  • Plug adapter and multi-socket (really useful).


The au pairs around

On social networks, try to find before your arrival an au pairs' group through Facebook group, WhatsApp group or ask your host family if they know about it in case their former au pair talked about it. Having friends where you're going to live for a while makes your stay. It's nice to chat before to meet them properly like that you may feel more comfortable on the D-Day.

In case you don't find anything in your city, try to find in the city next to. I think it's really important for you for not feeling alone and having a social life with people your own age.

Other au pairs are going to guide you and help you a lot of feeling way better abroad (homesickness), improve your French, do activities, etc. 

Find out more information to prepare for departure to France. Become an au pair

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Laurie · 01/03/2022



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